Humans have adopted the “law of the jungle” in economics and government: power and profit above all. Fear of the powerful still rules the human psyche, despite the fact that brute force wins only in the short term. Acquiring power entails sacrifice. Some people conclude that power is bad, while others conclude that power is good. Power can be used for good or ill, and has no ability in itself to cause immorality, a human choice. Abilities result in confidence and progress. Over-confidence underlies pride, which causes falls. Spirituality is often confused with psychic ability. Spiritual progress does not require physical, mental, or paranormal powers of any kind. Spirituality is inner and individual and has to do with our inner motives and also our actions—how we utiilze our powers.
Current revision: paper October 19th, 2020 (first version 2019 October); recording October 2020. New versions clarify or expand points in the original thesis; the points are unchanged.
Lord Acton, letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton (1887)
Alphonse de Lamartine, essay (1848)
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